Lensman Dennis Borja Mallari prior to the blaze.
Dubai - Dennis Borja Mallari escaped unharmed though he was treated for smoke inhalation.
The last 40 minutes before the start of 2016 will forever remain etched in the mind of Filipino photojournalist Dennis Borja Mallari.
Stranded on the balcony of the 48th floor of The Address Downtown, looking down on the flames rapidly licking away at the building façade, Dennis said he might have contemplated a million ways on how he could save his life.
When Dennis and a colleague, both who work for a local daily, were given access to the top floors of The Address to cover the fireworks, Dennis knew he would have the best shots of the fireworks a photojournalist could ask for on December 31.
"I was busy clicking pictures when my colleague suddenly screamed that there was a fire," Dennis told Khaleej Times minutes after being rescued by a team of firefighters. "I looked around, trying to understand the situation.by this time I saw my colleague had run away," said Dennis while still gasping for breath.
While having a chat with Civil Defense, keep calm and see the view.
Posted by Dennis Borja Mallari on Thursday, December 31, 2015
"I started gathering my things and when I attempted to leave, the smoke was so thick and black that I almost choked.I then ran back to the balcony and stood there."
"I had no option but to stand there waiting for help."
He then called the police number and informed them that he was stuck on one of the top floors. These were the longest 30-40 minutes of his life. "I don't know how long I stood there waiting to be rescued," he said. "Finally the Civil Defence reached me using the ladder." Dennis luckily escaped unharmed though he was treated for smoke inhalation.
According to Dennis, not many people were present on the floor when the fire broke out.
Charlene, Dennis' wife, spoke to Khaleej Times in a state of panic before her husband's rescue operation started.
"He called me while he was stuck on the balcony and said he would make a rope out of the bed sheets and try and get out of there," she said. "I was so worried for him.he said there is a lot of smoke in there and he has been stuck for quite a long time."